Find fun things to doin the West Palm Beach, FL area
Posted: 12:05 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, 2012
By Gholam Rahman
NOTES FROM OUR KITCHEN
Braising is a way of cooking home cooks do not use often enough, especially for doing vegetables such as beans. The technique involves sauteing the ingredient first in a small amount of oil to give its outside a bit of caramelization to intensifies its taste. The cooking is then finished in just a certain amount of water so the ingredients don’t burn or stick. The pan is generally covered, at least partially, to let the water evaporation create hot tenderizing steam.
When doing meat or poultry, the amount of water used is more than when braising vegetables. In the first category you want some liquid (generally flavorful broth or stock) to remain for making the sauce later, but for most veggies, just enough water or broth should be added so that by the times the veggies are tender-crisp most of the liquid is absorbed.
Here is how my wife Kaisari braises green beans: Choose half to 1 pound tender young beans that are bright green, trim the stem ends, cut beans into desirable pieces (or leave whole, if small), wash the pieces under cool running water, and drain well. Saute the pieces in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil for about 2 minutes with some chopped onions, a slivered garlic clove and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, stirring and shaking pan.
Add a quarter cup of water, cover and let cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir; cover partially and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Test for desired doneness (it should be tender-crisp). If almost done, raise heat and stir until most of the water is absorbed. Serve with some freshly ground pepper and salt, if needed. Sprinkle with some chopped herbs, if desired.